Tank Dress by Sew Caroline

Today we take a look at the Tank Dress by Sew Caroline.  this is a basic shift dress with the modern details of a shirt tail hem that is just too fun.  Make it in a Dress or tunic length and the sky is your limit for embellishing it to make your own.  This is certainly a dress you can have fun with for summer!

Here are Jessica and Becca to talk you through the pattern and show off the variety.


Hello, again! It's Jessica from Snickerdoodle Stew, and I'm here today to get my SELF-CARE SEWING on!!! No more selfish sewing for this gal! My kids shouldn't get to be the only ones that benefit from my mad sewing abilities, right? So you get to hear about the latest PDF pattern from Sew Caroline: The Tank Dress!

This dress can be sewn up in a variety of fabrics, including quilting cottons, light weight cotton, linen, gauze, voile, you name it! I even had some lovely Tula Pink voile set aside for just this pattern, but I want to lose a little more weight before I cut into that gorgeous piece of textile. In the meantime, I sewed this up in this heathered, plummy slub knit that I bought on clearance (50% off clearance prices, too...is there any other? Right Becca DuVal?) I thought it would be breezy and a great addition to my Spring and Summer Wardrobe.

I got all gussied up for a date night with this dress, so talking my husband into taking pics for me was not hard to do AT.ALL! I love where this dress hits and I think under the right circumstances, I might even be OK with wearing it without the leggings. I did find it a little low cut for my taste, especially with having to chase around 3 kids, so I paired it with a pretty tank. When I sew this up again, I will probably raise the neckline a bit.

This pattern also has an optional elastic casing or shirring in the back, to give the dress a little shape. Since I was sewing up the largest size, I didn't feel like mine needed that, so I opted out. I also used a knit neckband and armholes instead of woven facing. The new thing I tried was fusible hem tape, and while it is a GENIUS product, I may have stretched it a little and my hem is a little wonky.

Here are a few more details about this fun pattern:

  • Sizes XS to XXL
  • 25 pages of pattern pieces
  • Instructions for making the dress longer or shorter, as well as cutting instructions to get the most out of your fabric (which I really recommend reading...so you don't waste too much fabric true story!)

I'm definitely looking forward to meeting more of my weight loss goals and sewing this up in other gorgeous fabrics!!!

You look beautiful, Jessica! I love that dress :) Funny you should use a RedTag find... 'cause I did just the same!

I was bound and determined to make this project as stash friendly as possible. (Gotta clear space in my craft..er..guest room) So I made a few modifications:

  1. Fit the dress to a 1 yard cut. (...and justify that I'm petite anyhow, and would need to lose some length for the dress to hit at the knees.)
  2. Cut out the back piece.
  3. Run out of fabric. (That was fast...)
  4. "Make it work!" by adding a contrast fabric. Add seam allowance to the center of the front pattern piece and cut mirror image pieces. One in contrast, one in main fabric.
  5. Expose my bias tape to tie in the contrast fabric throughout. 
  6. Stitch it up in a single naptime. (Woohoo! Quick sews!)
  7. Try it on. Realize I made it too short. Decide to call the dress a "swimsuit cover up." Cool by me, we're at the pool daily this time of year!
  8. Belt it, add jeans, and rock it in tunic-form for lunch in the city. Self-high-five!

What?? you want pics?? Well ok then :)

I love the neckline. It's conservative enough for my mommy life, and low enough that I can fit my noggin through the neck hole without the need of an additional closure option! The arm holes are a bit smaller than I prefer though. Exposing my bias tape closed the hole up a quarter inch all around, so that surely didn't help. If you like the exposed bias option, make sure you account for that when you're cutting out your pattern pieces. 

How much fun is the tunic length idea?? I can't wait to make more this way! This hem shape is awesome, too. Gotta' love that it covers the fanny :D

I have to say... my favorite part about my patterns from Sew Caroline is how they serve as a blank canvas for my over-active imagination. Between trims and embellishments, fabric choices and various lengths, you can create hundreds of looks from the SAME pattern. (Don't believe me? Revisit my full month of mods to the Out and About Dress!!

I'm already dreaming up a voile option, maybe with a cascading ruffle down the middle?? Or a knit version with a placket and mini pocket? And a midi length is a *MUST* of course! Can't go wrong with this dress - go try them all!